Credit cards FAQs

Will I know if I’ve been accepted straightaway?

Some credit card providers will give you an instant decision online. In other cases your application may be ‘referred to an underwriter’.

This just means the credit card provider needs a bit more information from you before making a decision. 

Check out our guide to applying for a credit card for more information.

How long does an application take?

Our credit card providers offer secure online applications that should only take a few minutes. 

You'll be asked for details like your name, address, income and employment status, as well as the services you're interested in. 

Check out our guide to applying for a credit card for more information.

How do I make a balance transfer?

When applying for a credit card, you'll usually be asked if you'd like to move any existing balances to your new card. If so, you just give the details of your current card and the amount you want to move. 

If you don't have these details to hand you can contact your new provider to do it later. However, bear in mind that any 0% period will normally start from the date your account was opened.

If you're unsure which credit card is right for you, our credit card guide might be helpful.

What is a balance transfer fee?

This is the handling fee your new credit card provider charges for moving a balance to your new card. 

It's usually around 3% of the amount you've transferred. You won't be asked to pay this immediately - it's added to the balance of your new card and will be included in your repayments.

How does the card matcher tool work?

We ask for some basic details about you and the card you're looking for, and then take a look at your credit profile. Don't worry - this isn't a credit search, and it won't affect your credit score!

This information allows us to match you with the cards that best suit your needs. This gives your application the best chance of being accepted by the credit card provider. 

Not sure which credit card is right for you? Then check out our credit card guide.

When do I find out when what my credit limit will be?

Once you've completed your application, your chosen credit card provider will review it then come to a decision.

If your application is successful, the card issuer will let you know your initial credit limit and your APR. You can then decide whether or not to take out the credit card. 

For more information, take a look at our guide on how to apply for a credit card.

What is my credit score based on?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one ‘credit score’ which follows you around. In fact, different companies may give you slightly different scores based on your history.

Your history with credit is used as a basis for companies assessing you on your creditworthiness.

So this’ll cover things like outstanding debts, and your repayment history for credit accounts such as loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts. Companies also score you more favourably if you’re on the electoral register.

How do I manage my new credit card account?

Most credit card providers offer online access to your account, allowing you to check your balance or make a payment. You may even be able to do this over the phone if you prefer. 

If your card is issued by a bank, you'll also have the option of using their high street branches to manage your account. 

If you're unsure about whether a credit card is for you, you might find our credit card benefits guide handy.

What does representative APR mean?

APR means "annual percentage rate".

It's the amount of interest you'll pay over one year as a proportion of your outstanding balance . So a lower APR means you'll pay less interest. It's called "representative" because at least 51% of the customers that are accepted for the card have to be offered the APR shown.

What’s the difference between VISA, Mastercard and American Express?

These are the companies that provide the services between a retailer and your card provider to process your purchases and transactions.

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